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Definition of domicile, distinction from UK

Just a general overview

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Hi.  I am a UK tax adviser.  I am not going to start giving advice on US taxes, and yet I am still curious, reading around the subject.

My main resource for commentary on taxes is CCH online tax reporter (UK version) which says in paragraph 689-650:

"The US concept of domicile is broadly similar to that of the UK".

Earlier in that very same reference it also states:

"An individual will primarily be regarded as domiciled in the US if he was a resident (domiciliary) or if he was a national and had been a resident (domiciliary) at any time during the preceding three years."

I am having difficulty reconciling these (to me) apparently inconsistent statements and grateful for any insights.  I was not expecting the US domestic definition of domicile to be identical to UK, but the second quote above seems so far removed from the UK definition that (to me) it does not square with the earlier quote of their being "broadly similar".

I suspect that my confusion rests on the qualification "(domiciliary)" appended to the term "resident" in the second quote.  What does that mean?  Does it mean that a non-resident who would otherwise generally be regarded as domiciled in the US would, by reason of his non-resident status, then be regarded as non-dom under US law (unless he was a US national who had been resident in the last 3 years)?  That still would represent such a major departure from the UK definition as to be inconsistent with the earlier quote that the terms are "broadly similar".

I have posted a similar question on the UK sister site of AccountingWeb, but I may get a better informed response here.

Thanks for any insight

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

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